Shooting at Johns Hopkins Hospital

September 16, 2010|By Justin Fenton and Peter Hermann | Baltimore Sun reporters

A doctor is in critical condition after being shot on the eighth floor of a Johns Hopkins Hospital building, police say, and the shooter has barricaded himself in a room on the same floor.

Portions of the Nelson Building, a thoracic center on its sprawling East Baltimore campus, have been placed on lockdown and other sections have been evacuated. Police have shut down numerous roads in the area of Broadway, East Monument and North Wolfe streets. South of Monument and Wolfe was sealed off with trucks, cars and tape. Many units are on the scene, including police, fire and SWAT teams.

There are reports that the shooter could be barricaded in the room with a relative.

A nurse who said she was on the floor at the time of the shooting said that the shooter was upset about the medical treatment of his mother. He was threatening to jump out of a window, she said.

"I started running," she said. "When you hear gunshots you run."

At 11:15 a.m., Hopkins sent out emergency e-mail and text advisories to staff that said "shooter on Nelson 8." An employee at the Hopkins School of Public Health, which is across Wolfe Street from the complex containing the Nelson building, said that employees were told to stay in their offices.

"As a precaution, Johns Hopkins Hospital has temporarily restricted access to main hospital buildings following a report this morning of a disturbance and possible shooting on one of the floors," said Johns Hopkins officials in a statement. "City police and Hopkins security officers are on the scene and are asking employees, visitors, patients and caregivers to stay in their rooms or offices with the door locked if possible until further notice."

Visitors were escorted out of buildings as far away as two blocks. On the streets surrounding the Hopkins complex, police and plainclothes officers and security staff were manning every corner as sirens sounded and a helicopter flew overhead. Officers were moving pedestrians, some with Hopkins badges, on Wolfe and Monument toward Broadway.

So many police officers are at Hopkins at this hour that the department had to call in officers from other districts and detective units to help answer other 911 calls in the Eastern District. One plainclothes officer reported being out in his personal car, and he warned his dispatcher he was patrolling "with no lights, no sirens, no nothing."

Jacqueline Billy, a nurse who works in respiratory care, said she was on the seventh floor when the shooting took place. She got in an elevator, accidentally went up to the eighth floor, and when the elevator doors opened, police with guns drawn ordered her to shut the door.

"I was petrified, the door opened and there are a bunch of guns. You never expect that," she said.

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